The McGill Tribune Presents: THE BEST AND WORST OF 2019

MOVIE

1. Midsommar 

Ari Aster traded Hereditary’s claustrophobic setting and occult imagery for sunny plains and floral dresses. Spearheaded by Florence Pugh’s devastating portrayal of grief and despair, the result is no less terrifying.

(Vice)

2. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood 

Another Tarantino film, another cinematic success. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’s all-star cast, witty dialogue, and pleasingly violent scenes make for a delightful ode to ‘60s Hollywood.

(Empire)

3. Parasite

A daring examination of structural inequality from acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho. Clever dialogue and striking images punctuate this twisted family drama.

(GQ)

4. The Lighthouse 

Robert Eggers creates a world of one eyed seagulls, crazed monologues, and drunken dancing. With its exploration on sanity and isolation, The Lighthouse is sometimes funny, but mostly horrifying.

(thestar.com)

5. Us

Jordan Peele returns to make what is normal and innocuous—a red jumpsuit and a pair of scissors—absolutely terrifying. It is a fitting warning to stay away from tunnels near the beach. 

(Film School Rejects)

Worst: Tall Girl 

Dance Moms star Ava Michelle makes an unfortunate return to the silver screen in Tall Girl, a formulaic, bland young-adult rom-com. 

(Book and Film Globe)

TV SHOWS

1. Russian Doll 

Full of dark humour and disturbingly comical ruminations on life and death, Natasha Lyonne gives a dazzling performance in season one of her morbid, Groundhog Dayesque drama.

(imbd.com)

2. Fleabag 

Fleabag’s second season brings back the hilarious, hot mess of a woman that is “Fleabag,” exploring the intricacies of familial troubles, romantic troubles, and, well, life troubles.

(Indiewire)

3. I Think You Should Leave by Tim Robinson 

Oh my god, we admit it: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson’s cast of absurd oddballs made for some hysterical sketches.

(Indiewire)

4. Sex Education 

Sex Education is an unflinching portrayal of teen sexuality: Embracing all the awkwardness and embarrassment that comes with growing up, it’s one of the most genuine coming-of-age stories in recent television.

(Thought Catalog)

5. The Crown (Season Three)

Oscar winner Olivia Coleman plays Queen Elizabeth II opposite Tobias Menzies’ Prince Philip in what continues to be one of the best historical dramas on TV. 

(Town and Country)

Worst: Queer Eye Japan

The only thing worse than neoliberal virtue signaling is neoliberal virtue signaling with an imperialist twang. Queer Eye Japan is inappropriate and tone-deaf, misconstruing cultural differences as negatives that can be improved through Western living. 

(The Wrap)

ALBUMS

1. Norman Fucking Rockwell! by Lana Del Rey 

Lana Del Rey pioneered an entire genre of melancholic and dreamy ballads in the early ‘10s. With NFR!, she rounds out the decade with her magnum opus: A haunting exploration of love and loss that affirms her as a voice for her generation. 

2. Titanic Rising by Weyes Blood

Singer-songwriter Natalie Mering will make you happy to be sad with 42 minutes of dreamy ballads about love, despair, and hope.

3. Igor by Tyler the Creator

PostFlower Boy Tyler is here for the TikTok e-boys and sad girls on Instagram. This woozy, lovesick album marks a mature step for Tyler without losing his trademark edge. 

4. MAGDALENE by FKA twigs

After four years of silence, FKA twigs has re-emerged with one of the most poignant and visceral works of the year. Inspired by the oft-misunderstood biblical character, MAGDALENE is extraordinary.

5. thank u, next by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s latest pumps out airy pop hits bumping to celebrity drama, breakups, and personal growth.

Worst: Teal Album by Weezer

2019 saw many a musical faux-pas, but none more shameful than when four middle-aged white guys decided to cover TLC’s “No Scrubs.”  

 

SONGS

1. Old Town Road by Lil Nas X 

A poignant exploration into the complexities of cowboyhood, what started as a TikTok meme became the undisputable anthem of 2019, launching Lil Nas X into much-deserved stardom. 

2. Earfquake by Tyler, the Creator

Heartbreak has never sounded better. A Whoa Vicky reference has also never worked better. 

3. So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings by Caroline Polachek 

From vocal-saxophone effects, to lyrics that sing life, to feelings of longing, this single is so hot it’s hurting all of our feelings. 

4. Cellophane by FKA twigs

At once soaring and sparse, the first single off of FKA twigs’ affecting album is a heartrending portrait of the fatigue of unrequited love.

5. Venice Bitch by Lana Del Rey 

Lana’s longest single brilliantly mixes soft rock, breathy vocals, and nostalgia to create a lyrical narrative about summer romance.

Worst: Senorita by Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello

There has never been a pair of industry plants with less chemistry than these two. Enough said.

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